Long Distance Riders Sh*t Me

ImageAn essay about riding, from a contributor. The first in our new blog section.

Motoaus Ed. note: This is the first outside contibution to Motoaus.com, in our new blog section. We hope to receive many more, and we intend to add a comment facility to each story. If you can spell hippopotamus without looking at the blackboard, and have an opinion about motorcycles, we’d like to hear it, and possibly feature it here. Please email us – from the contact page.

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Contributed by G.S.

Long distance riders sh*t me.

Not riders who ride for long distances. Just the ones who go on rides with the only apparent purpose being to say they rode so many kilometres in such an amount of time. Was reading about this guy who rode from one side of the USA to the other without stopping. What’s the point? Just sitting hunched on your bike for 24 hours, oblivious to any outside distractions or attractions because you want to make a point to whoever it is that cares – or doesn’t?

All great bike rides involve at least a few of the following – a pub, a flat tyre, or a speeding fine. Maybe waiting at the side of the road for an hour while your mates go to get petrol, a joining link or bandages. And at least 50 klicks of dirt road, if not more. And preferably a Scandinavian women’s backpacker reunion at that sh*tty pub you stopped off at that night in Lower Bumfark. I’ll be taking my time eating the parmy and drinking my beer too.

If I’m going to ride 1000kms, I sure as sh*t will be going at whatever speed I feel like, be that 20km/h in first gear because the headlight globe blew and there’s not even a glimmer of moon, or flat on the tank at 200 plus across the Hay Plains. I don’t want to maintain some soul draining “average ” speed. Who the f*** wants to be average?

And I’ll ride down any roads I feel like that day, for any reason, or no reason. Maps? We don’t need no stinkin’ maps. Directions are things you get from that old guy in overalls at the garage, who points you up the road with his nicotine stained finger, not something you mark out in flouro pink hi-liter on your waterproof NRMA map. I want to take time to pat that old blue heeler outside the burger shop, and to listen to the bloke who had a Triumph Bonny when he was younger, but sold it when he got drafted.

I want to stop and look out from the highest place I get too, down across our golden land, and decide not to take a picture of it, because it would never look so good on paper as it will in my memory.

And if I happen across a low bridge over a rushing creek, I want to get down on those water smoothed rocks, and splash some of that melted snow on my sunburnt face. I’m gonna spend at least five minutes riding along just kinda tilting my head over and listening to that big twin rumble when you twist the throttle needlessly. And when I stop, and my helmets off, perhaps I’m waiting, or maybe I’m just listening to the ticking sound as that engine cools down.

I’m not in a hurry to get back and post my ETAs and TKCs or BFDs on the internet. Forget the kilometers and hours. Stop clocking in and out. Get on your bike and ride, be it 1600 kilometers in a day, or 217 kms in a weekend. Half the fun isn’t getting there, it’s the whole f***ing lot of it.

If you really need to set some mathematical statistic, why not just prop the bike up on a stand in the garage. Put up a poster of a straight road in front of you, and sit unmoving on it for 24 hours. And try not to piss for hours on end. Or better still, just enter in a competition to see how long you can go without pissing. Come to think of it, that’s probably the same type of contest.

Ride. Look around. Stop. Ride. Enjoy.